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Domains occur among spaces as strict algebras among lax


Whereas Alan Day showed that the continuous lattices are the algebras of a filter monad on Set, we employ the theory of lax algebras (as developed by Barr, Pisani, Clementino, Hofmann, Tholen, Seal and others) to broaden this characterisation to a description of the wider class of continuous dcpos as algebras of a lax filter monad. Building on an axiomatisation of topological spaces through convergence as lax algebras of a lax extension of the filter monad to a category of relations, we show that those topological spaces whose associated lax algebra is in fact a strict algebra are what M. Erné called the C-spaces. The sober C-spaces are precisely the continuous dcpos under the Scott topology, and we discuss how the possibly little-known C-spaces, which have been studied by B. Banaschewski, J. D. Lawson, R.-E. Hoffmann, M. Erné and G. Wilke, very directly capture an essential topological notion of approximation inherent in the continuous dcpos, and hence provide a natural topological concept of domain.

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Mathematical Structures in Computer Science
  • ISSN: 0960-1295
  • EISSN: 1469-8072
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